Ti­tans beat Mus­tangs, win league ti­tle

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - SPORTS - By Marissa McNees mm­c­nees@morn­ingjour­nal.com @Maris­saNM on Twit­ter

Lorain is the back-to-back Lake Erie League cham­pion, but this time there’s no shar­ing.

The Ti­tans trav­eled to Maple Heights Oct. 12 and beat the host Mus­tangs, 3-1, to claim an out­right con­fer­ence ti­tle, fin­ish­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son a per­fect 12-0 in LEL play.

Fac­ing the same sce­nario as last sea­son — beat the Mus­tangs and take the con­fer­ence ti­tle out­right or lose and share as co-cham­pi­ons — Lorain stormed to a 13-2 lead in the first set, ready to make an early state­ment.

The Ti­tans dom­i­nated the sec­ond set to the tune

of a 25-10 win, but poor de­ci­sion-mak­ing and sloppy serve re­ceive handed Maple Heights the third be­fore Lorain re­fo­cused and turned out a game-high 12 kills to win the fourth set and the match.

“We needed to think about how much we ac­tu­ally wanted it,” se­nior Lailah Car­rion said. “We gave (the third set) away and we shouldn’t have, and over­all we knew that we

could’ve done bet­ter so we just kept in our mind that we could do this, so (we said,) ‘Let’s just do it and not give away points like that again.’

“We were not jelling as much as we could have and for us to come to­gether and beat one of the top teams we’ve been fac­ing for a re­ally long time, it means a lot.”

Car­rion fin­ished with six kills and 17 as­sists for Lorain

(17-5) while Marissa Sturgill added 15 as­sists and An­ge­lika Pat­ter­son had 13 digs.

Se­nior Seven Townsel had another stel­lar per­for­mance for the Ti­tans, fin­ish­ing with 20 digs and 18 kills.

Coach Chan­tille Jack­son said she’s most proud of how the team stayed fo­cused de­spite a shaky ef­fort that third set, and in a rowdy gym packed with

Maple Heights and Lorain fans, was im­pressed with the way her play­ers tuned out the noise and took care of busi­ness.

“They re­ally wanted it and that’s what they brought to the court to­day,” Jack­son said.

“They were ob­vi­ously ner­vous and anx­ious about the game, which makes sense be­cause it’s a big one for us, and (Maple Heights)

al­ways brings a lot of fans. But I’m re­ally proud of them for stay­ing to­gether, for stick­ing it out and work­ing re­ally hard be­cause it wasn’t just one ath­lete out there. I mean, they worked to­gether and did some re­ally smart things with the ball.”

Lorain, the 10th seed in the Di­vi­sion I Grafton Dis­trict, faces No. 7 Elyria Oct. 18 at Mid­view in a sec­tional semi­fi­nal.

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